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2 months ago - 9/11/2018

Classic match throws off Group A

You could hardly ask for a more competitive group in European club handball than this season’s VELUX EHF Champions League Group A, which features current title holders Montpellier and giants like Barça, Löwen, Veszprém, Vardar and Kielce.

The group is bound to produce several top matches each round, and the opening day of the new season is no exception as Rhein-Neckar Löwen are hosting Spanish champions Barça Lassa on Wednesday.

Meanwhile in Group B, French champions Paris Saint-Germain get their campaign underway in Ukraine with a visit to Motor Zaporozhye.

GROUP A:

Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) vs Barça Lassa (ESP)
Wednesday, 12 September, 19:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

  • Both sides have met nine times over the past eight years: they each won three matches and had three draws (which includes their 31:31 from Round 1 last season).

  • Löwen have already played four matches in the Bundesliga - and all won by at least a six-goal margin - while Barça have had only two competitive games so far this season.

  • Both teams won the national Super Cup this season: Löwen against SG Flensburg-Handewitt (33:26), Barça against La Rioja (35:27).

  • “They are one of the best teams in Europe right now, so it is hard to start the season this way,” Barça goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas told Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.

GROUP B:

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA)
Wednesday, 12 September, 19:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com

  • PSG are after their fourth consecutive VELUX EHF FINAL 4 berth this season, and they will be trying to win the title for the first time.

  • Motor have not played PSG before but have done well against other French teams, taking points off both Montpellier and Nantes.

  • Motor are returning to Zaporozhye - the brand new Yunost Arena - after playing in Kharkiv in the past seasons.

  • Raul Gonzalez will make his VELUX EHF Champions League debut as PSG coach, two seasons after he led Vardar to the title.

Author: Adrian Costeiu, Kevin Domas / ew